Videolabyrinth is a series of three interactive video game films, two of which premiered at the VideoFilmFest '88, the first edition of the festival that ten years later changed its name to transmediale. The three artists and filmmakers Friederike Anders, Mari Cantu and Ilka Lauchstädt were all studying at the German Film and Television Academy (dffb) and were inspired by the Hungarian filmmaker Gábor Bódy, who briefly taught a seminar there about nonlinear and interactive dramaturgy shortly before his death in 1985. Even though Laserdisc had already appeared as an interactive medium at the time, the three works, Terra Z (Ilka Lauchstädt) Mutabor III (Friederike Anders) and Oberschenkelhalsundbeinbruch (Mari Cantu) were all based on a custom made system involving a software on an IBM computer that controlled a Video 8 player. All three films were made as multiple choice interactive stories in the style of text based adventure games, only the goal was never to win, rather the stories kept confounding the user who was rewarded for dissident instead of goal-oriented behaviour. The result was a surreal poetics of non-linearity that was building on experimental cinema and video art and was thus more of a predecessor of later CD-ROM and than of the interactive storytelling as we know it from computer games today.





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